When people think ‘PR’ they often associate it with certain aspects of PR without fully understanding the extent of what it can do. In this post, we’re going to cover the most enjoyable part of PR – campaigns. Creating a digital marketing campaign will help your business succeed. Here’s how!
Creating a Digital Marketing Campaign: How Do You set one up?
Depending on who you ask, this is a question with a variety of different answers.
For many people, a brand campaign tends to be primarily associated with marketing from big brands and typically focused on product launches. But in fact, a campaign in Digital PR can be a variety of things.
A campaign can be of any size, ranging from a blog post including an infographic to a full-blown interactive piece (and everything in between). This includes celebrities launching collections or products.
Things to Consider When Planning a Campaign
Firstly, work out what the main objective of creating a campaign or piece of content is. Examples of campaign goals could be:
- Increase traffic to the homepage
- Boost traffic to a particular product/category page
- Boost brand awareness
- Increase social following
- Increase rankings for particular keywords
The Brand and Brand Guidelines
Before you start planning a strategy, the first thing I’d recommend is obtaining brand guidelines. You want to know the types of things your client is happy with or keen to stay away from. For example, high-end brands are going to want to stay away from the more risqué aspects. A good campaign should be relevant to the brand but not too branded
Remember, anything too heavily branded is not going to be of interest to journalists. Digital PR is ‘earned’ media and the aim is to gain organic coverage. Therefore, a journalist will most likely turn anything too branded into an advertorial or sponsored content.
Timings and Scale
Depending on the resource available, the size of the campaign and the time it takes for a client to approve/sign-off, a campaign can take anywhere from two weeks to two months from ideation to going live. Of course, there are instances where you hope to have a campaign live by a specific time. However, it may not happen due to a variety of reasons, including client push backs/delays, or similar campaigns going live. Still, in all forms of digital marketing, timing is something we have to work with.
It’s also a good idea to think about timings in terms of launching a campaign. For example, suppose you want to do a Valentine’s Day campaign. In that case, you should ideally explain to the client how important it is to have this go live in January. This is when brands are likely to start covering the topic, with planning beginning in the previous November/December.
Type of Campaign and How You Want to Display the Content
Nowadays, there are three main types of campaigns that most people working in Digital PR create:
- Content (editorial) campaigns – These are usually blog posts created to live on the client’s blog.
- Interactive campaigns – Include all the bells and whistles that a client’s budget allows, and a web dev can create
- Data-focused campaign – As it sounds, this type of campaign has a heavy focus on data points
How You’ll Display the Content
As mentioned before, timing, budget and resource are all going to have a real impact on the type of campaign you’ll be able to create.
Research and Data
When creating a digital marketing campaign, research and data ultimately form the basis of it, whatever you decide to do. Doing ‘desk research’ (looking for data that is already available on the internet) can help determine ideas with the most potential, who may have covered something similar and whether you need to rethink your idea a little because it’s been done recently.
When it comes to sourcing data, there are various places to look:
- Google Trend Data – Analyses the popularity of search queries, and can be split by country, language and sectors
- Office of National Statistics (ONS) – The UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics. Data includes population, employment, business and community stats. Due to its official nature, it can really help provide a deeper context to a campaign or pitch
- Statista – Pulls together the data on reports and industry reports from around the web. There’s not much you can’t find on Statista including shopping habits and how long people spend streaming
- Influencer Marketing Hub – A leading resource for influencers, as well as publications or those working in influencer marketing. For a Digital PR, they have some great insight and tools available to help with creating a campaign that focuses on influencers
- Google Dataset Search – A tool that helps you locate data from around the web
- Surveys – With a fast turnaround, surveys have become almost a staple in the PR world. These are commissioned mostly through external companies, such as One Poll. They aren’t cheap but can provide original data that can be perfectly tailored to what you need with the questions and answers you supply
What should you do if there’s no pick-up? Who are you outreaching/pitching this campaign to? Do I need links? It’s all fine and well to have the perfect idea for a campaign, but you need to be able to gain coverage for the campaign as well.
Thinking about possible angles while you’re still in the planning stages can help determine the types of places you can pitch the campaign, content, or data to. It will also help identify whether the campaign is layered enough to see out to multiple types of publications/titles to maximise coverage you can gain.
In an ideal world, you’d want to have enough angles to go to different groups of publications. For example, suppose you’re creating a campaign for Netflix. In this case, you’d want to have angled for National/Regional Press, Lifestyle, TV/Film titles, and titles within the niche of the things featured (e.g. horror, teen, Christmas etc. Having multiple angles also helps you to create a layered approach to your Digital PR Outreach.
It’s always a good idea to think about where you see your idea being featured, and what types of coverage you want – this can impact what kind of detail you need for your campaign, along with the look and feel.
Key points to consider:
- What types of journalists and publications are you going to pitch this to?
- The types of publications (e.g. national/regional newspapers, lifestyle magazines, tech websites, family sites, international sites etc.)
- What types coverage you want – this will usually feed into the campaign KPIs/goals
Dates and Awareness Days
There is a reason why seasonal campaigns are covered so much – people are naturally looking for things to do with “XX” at the time. Tying a campaign launch or activity into awareness days of peak periods can help leverage a campaign that little bit further in the eyes of the press. If you are unsure about what awareness dates are coming up, check out awarenessdays.com, which is a comprehensive calendar for the UK and US, with some global dates as well.
Coming up with a strategy for creating a digital marketing campaign is one of the most fun parts of Digital PR. Seeing an idea turn from just that into a fully formed finished piece is one of the most satisfying parts, ahead of getting the coverage. For anyone interested in focusing on this, Digital PR Strategists do exist as a role. Still, Outreach Executives, Digital PR Executives, and Digital PR Managers also get involved in the strategy too!
Written by Juanita Wyght.